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ISRN Virology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 834890, 11 pages
Review Article

Human Herpesvirus 6 and Neuroinflammation

International Center for Infectiology Research (CIRI), INSERM U1111, CNRS UMR5308, University of Lyon 1, ENS-Lyon, 21 Avenue T. Garnier, 69365 Lyon, France

Received 21 January 2013; Accepted 13 February 2013

Academic Editors: B. Kim, M. Magnani, and L. Margolis

Copyright © 2013 Joséphine M. Reynaud and Branka Horvat. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Human herpesvirus (HHV-) 6A and HHV-6B are two distinct β-herpesviruses which have been associated with various neurological diseases, including encephalitis, meningitis, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Although the reactivation of both viruses is recognized as the cause of some neurological complications in conditions of immunosuppression, their involvement in neuroinflammatory diseases in immunocompetent people is still unclear, and the mechanisms involved have not been completely elucidated. Here, we review the available data providing evidence for the capacity of HHV-6A and -6B to infect the central nervous system and to induce proinflammatory responses by infected cells. We discuss the potential role of both viruses in neuroinflammatory pathologies and the mechanisms which could explain virus-induced neuropathogenesis.